Trending Clinical Topics for October 2018

Ryan Syrek


November 02, 2018

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (October 6-12): Hypothyroidism

News about an artistic diagnosis, an important annual meeting, a potential new diet, and surprising treatment recommendations resulted in this week's top search term. In a letter published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings , two experts suggest that the appearance of the Mona Lisa may be attributable to hypothyroidism. Pointing not only to visual evidence but dietary patterns of the time, the authors suggest that "the enigma of the Mona Lisa can be resolved by a simple medical diagnosis of a hypothyroidism-related illness."

In more clinically applicable news, the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association began its 88th conference earlier this month. An overview of hypothyroidism treatments will be covered in the annual Clark T. Sawin historical presentation. Advanced thyroid cancer will be a key focus, as the condition has remained a challenge despite improved outcomes associated with many other cancer types. Two studies on novel RET oncogene-targeted therapies for metastatic medullary thyroid cancer will be presented, and various symposiums on thyroid surgeries and molecular markers are eagerly anticipated.

Recent discussion has also focused on a potential "thyroid diet." For conditions ranging from hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid nodules, nutrition is a significant concern. Consumption of iodine, cruciferous vegetables, soy, various trace minerals, and other dietary products like coffee and alcohol have an impact on various thyroid conditions. In terms of specific treatment, a recent meta-analysis concluded that treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism with levothyroxine is not associated with improvements in quality of life or thyroid-related symptoms. Although common, the treatment may be unnecessary for those with symptoms that may not actually be caused by hypothyroidism. Although some guidelines do suggest treatment in this patient population, the results of this meta-analysis have prompted much discussion. In fact, with all of the news related to hypothyroidism lately, there has been much to talk about, which explains why it is this week's top trending clinical topic.

For more information on hypothyroidism, read here.


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